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Was it Only Yesterday - A Challenge from Billybuc

Updated on August 19, 2015

The Girls

Was it really only yesterday when they were ten year old girls? So much had happened in their lives There had been, of course, their birth as twins. They had so much fun confusing people about their identity. Sometimes their own father couldn't tell them apart, though mother always could. Being mirror-image twins made it easier for them, more difficult for everyone else.

So much time spent in the apartment, after all they had six siblings. The apartment was small but it was home. When they were left alone it was with strict instructions, "stay away from the door to nowhere".


The Door

The door to nowhere looked pretty much like any other door in the apartment house but they dreamed about it since it was called "the door to nowhere". In their minds they wondered if nowhere was a place. Maybe a magical place with unicorns and dragons, maybe a dark place with no sun and no people.

When they were outside and looked at the door it seemed to hold no magic at all, but from the insidE it was something else. They often spoke about the door. They wondered if you had to be a certain age to go through the door. Maybe that was it, it was just a door for grown ups. They decided to ask Mrs. Juney next door, the old lady who lived alone. She wasn't overly friendly but always nice to the twins. They asked her if it was a special door to which she replied,

"No, its nothing special girls, it is just a door to nowhere," she said.

They asked their oldest sibling. Marilyn was almost fifteen and she knew everything. They thought for sure she'd know.

"The door to nowhere goes nowhere. I don't even know why they put the door there, probably just to scare little girls," Marilyn told them. They giggled but still wondered.

They had three brothers who like to play and roughhouse. They'd often see their brothers kicking the door or using it as a back stop but never did anyone open the door to nowhere. Of course their sisters never touched the door.

Everyone in the apartment house respected the door and left it alone. They would talk to each other about it wondering if everyone felt the same way they did. No one else ever talked about the door. They didn't like to share their thoughts with other people, not even their siblings, but they shared everything with each other including their thoughts about the door.


That Night

On several occasions their parents both worked at night. Their father worked overtime at the factory and their mother worked the night shift at the diner. Even though there were eight of them, five girls and three boys, they behaved very well. Their parents were not afraid to let their sister Marilyn babysit. Marilyn wasn't too happy about it but knew the family needed money and sometimes Mom would bring home left over treats for them to share the next day.

They were still watching television when Marilyn said, "okay, time for bed, everybody".

They knew better than to argue so raced to the bathroom and got there first. Teeth brushed, hair combed and pajamas on, they were ready for bed. Everyone went to bed on time for a change. Sometime in the middle of the night Sharon smelled smoke. She woke Sally and they both sat there wondering what to do. The smell was getting stronger so they ventured out of their bedroom and saw nothing. Quietly and carefully they opened the apartment door and saw flames coming from the stairway.

"Marilyn, Matthew, Sonny, Johnny, Carla, Stacy, get out of bed, there's a fire" they yelled as loud as they could.

Everyone came into the kitchen rubbing their eyes. They could smell the smoke. Marilyn told them not to panic just head for the stairs.

"No Marilyn, that's where the fire is," Sharon shouted.

"We have to go to the door to nowhere, its the only way," cried Sally.

"What about everyone else," asked Matthew?

They all looked at each other. There were other people living on this floor like old Mrs. Juney and they were probably sleeping too.

Marilyn then said, "Okay, boys you knock on the doors from 402 to 408 and girls you go from 403 to 407. Knock as hard as you can and scream as loud as you can. Then, run right back here so we can open the door to nowhere."

Everyone did as they were told and apartment dwellers came out of their apartments, smelled the smoke and saw the children running to the door. Marilyn pulled the lock back and unlocked the lock on the doorknob. The door actually opened easily. Matthew had taken the time to call 911 after knocking on his doors so they could hear sirens in the distance.

Once the door was open Marilyn instructed them to go one by one very carefully down the metal ladder outside the door to nowhere. Everyone saw the children exiting and followed them. By the time the last person was out of the building the firemen had arrived. Unfortunately the people on the other floors were not so lucky because they didn't have a door to nowhere.


The Award

Their parents cried they were so happy they were okay and they were so proud of their children's quick thinking.

"Eight Sanchez Children Receive Medals." That was what the newspaper headline said. Sharon and Sally thought this was the greatest thing. They had saved lives along with their siblings and now they were getting a medal, a real medal not the plastic kind the boys played with.

They dressed in their Sunday best and all walked to the Mayor's office. The whole City was there along with more newspaper people and camera people than the girls had ever seen. What a glorious day! What the eight Sanchez children didn't know was that along with their medals the City and Fire Department were giving each one of them a college scholarship! They watched as their parents cried tears of joy and each thanked the Mayor in turn.

Was it Really Only Yesterday?

It seemed like yesterday but those two ten year old girls that received the medals and college scholarships were now graduating from college. Each of the Sanchez children had excelled, or were excelling in college and graduations were always with honors. Now it was Sharon and Sally's turn.

Sharon was going to continue her studies in medicine to become a doctor and Sally a psychologist. They had made it their life's goal to help people. The feelings they had when the City acknowledge what they did stayed with them all these years and led them to want to always help people. They would never forget "the door to nowhere" which for them had become "the door to somewhere".

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      Thank you Audrey! I am so glad yo liked it and I have to admit, very flattered by your lovely comment! Blessings back to you.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      I cannot believe this wonderful story. How clever that you created an amazing totally original story that has such a happy ending. I can picture all the tenants going down the steps, and everything is so real. You made my day, and I shall never forget the details of this happy story. Sharing. Blessings, Audrey

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much Examiner. I can't ask for more than two thumbs up.

      Harishprasad thank you for the lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed.

      Sally I remember reading about your twin. It was nice you enjoyed my twin story.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk


      At last, now we really do know that the door goes somewhere..... I really related the twins in your story because I am too grew up as one of twins. Very creative with a lovely positive outlook.


    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      4 years ago from New Delhi , India

      A very captivating story with an element of suspense ! When I was finished reading the story, I wondered why the parents had not told the kids already, but then this allowed the suspense throughout. I enjoyed this story so much. Mary, this was a great response to Bill's challenge.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      4 years ago

      Congratulations Mary, you have found where the door to nowhere actually goes! I gave this thumbs up (both thumbs)+++, shared it, pinned it, Tweeted it and G+ it.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Jo.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      This was a wonderful read and a great response to the challenge. Imaginative and beautifully done.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Well I am certainly happy you found this and flattered by your comment Tim.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Loved it Mary. And, very surprised not knowing of Billy's presented opportunity. I am very happy I did. If you did not comment I would have never discovered this article. I am so happy I did. It rings with resounding encouragement . . . a must read.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      We can certainly expect children to make us proud when they're treated right Deb.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      There was such a wonderful message in this story. If children are respected and honored for their endeavors, they will make their families proud.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I'm headed right over there to read it.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Mary, speaking of downers, I wrote for billybuc's challenge too. :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Chris. I can write some downers so I thought it was time for an upper!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas through August 23, 2019.

      Mary, a happy ending story that just keeps giving and giving. You portrayed a strong family that worked together at all times. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Oh Jo, how nice of you. Thanks for the share and vote. We're expecting snow here and its d### cold, so hope you stay warm and safe.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      4 years ago

      This is exceptional writing! I am never disappointed reading any of your fantastic writing! Shared and Up +++. Take care.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thank you Manatita. During these gloomy winter days it's always nice to have a happy ending.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      Beautiful approach with children, medals and scholarships and all. Positive door, that one. Excellent Hub!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Martie. It is definitely a time for positive perspectives!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Aauuww, at last a positive perspective on the door to nowhere. Beautiful, Mary!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I didn't realize when I wrote the story that it included a lesson Suhail, but reading it after I saw it did. It is I who thank you for reading my friend.

      Thanks Alan. Its funny when you start writing a story you're never really sure where it will end.

      Glad you enjoyed Mary. Nice to have happy endings.

      Venkatachari I am so happy you enjoyed my little twist on the door to nowhere.

      Bill, I am amazed at how many people like my story! Thank you.

      DD happy you enjoyed reading my story.

      Frank, I am magnificently flattered by your comment.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      Tillsontitan.. Billybuc should be proud... your challenge was magnificently entertaining...

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great approach to this challenge I like the introduction and enjoyed reading.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Mary. You had me on the edge of my seat. I am always amazed how some people can be so creative. You took a simple picture and turned it into something special.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wow!!! What a great story. You have done it so well, Mary Craig and so differently. I like your turning the door as a door to such a great event of happiness. The Door lead to their getting medals and such great honor.

      Thank you very much for giving this great twist which I love very much.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      Excellent story in response to Bill's challenge. These were wonderful children!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Nice bit of writing, Mary. Tells a story with a beginning and an end, I like that - not too spicy, and credible.

      Well done.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      A truly beautiful response to Bill's challenge, Mary.

      The story was so intense that it ran a few shivers down my spine. And that door to nowhere finally calmed me down.

      Also, there is a good lesson to learn. from this hub.

      Thank you, Mary, for sharing a powerful story.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Dearest Paula, you certainly humble me. Seems "the door to nowhere" certainly is leading somewhere. I appreciate your support GF and always look forward to seeing you here!

      Mike, thank you. Coming from one of my favorite writers that is a true compliment.

      Oh dear Faith, thank you so much. I love taking the challenges and getting comments like yours makes them worthwhile.

      Thanks so much Jodah. Having great writers enjoy my work keeps me going.

      Ann, you too have made my day. Your writing and knowledge of writing is such an inspiration. Having you compliment me is icing on the cake.

      Always exploring, so glad you enjoyed. The thanks my friend goes to you.

      Thank you Mr. Archer. I am so happy you loved it.

      Sha, you have gone beyond in your comment. You've actually pointed out a moral to my story I didn't even realize I put there! Thank you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, I love a happy ending. The children are the heroes in this story. And for the city to give out eight scholarships is just awesome. I think the moral to this story is opportunity lies behind every door as long as you're willing to take a chance.

      Great story!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      4 years ago from Missouri

      Very well done Mary! You kept me going right through the final words! Loved it!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a beautiful story. I liked that the door to nowhere saved so many and the children all excelled. A good feeling story. Thank you..

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Superb story, Mary! You kept me enthralled and wondering what that door was going to offer. Just rewards for good deeds, too.

      Your writing certainly has grown and I totally agree with Paula.



    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Mary, you have really developed into a great short story writer. i haven't read a piece of fiction from you that wasn't enjoyable. This is noexception. Well done. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I love this wonderful story here you have so creatively written, dear Mary! Excellent. Your stories always flow so well and never disappoint.

      What an inspirational story. Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      You always are up to any challenge here on HP and surpass them with flying colors.


    • mckbirdbks profile image


      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      5 Stars. That's what I think.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Til.....Let me just assure you dear friend, your readers, in particular myself, clearly saw your growth long ago, from the start to be exact.

      "Once upon a time there was a young girl who wanted to be a writer."

      That girl is a woman of extreme talent who has spread her wings and soared beyond the clouds.....where there simply are no doors.

      The world is yours, Til and fortunately for us, you became a writer.

      One of the best......Peace, Paula

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      I've always tried to listen to my teacher and learn. Thank you for noticing. The best part though is your enjoying my story. I finally feel like I'm beginning to grow.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, I love a feel good story, and this was definitely one of them. I loved how you built tension and there was this unanswered question always hovering over the, is this a fantasy? a horror story? and it ended up being true to life and big smiles all around. Nicely done, Mary. Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge, and nice job of formatting that dialogue. :)


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